Celebrating 30 Years of Road Tripping on Colorado Scenic Byways
Colorado is celebrating 30 years of road tripping on breathtaking and historic byways. Colorado has 26 scenic byways and here's what you need to know about all of them.
11 of the 26 scenic byways in Colorado are actually nationally recognized as America's Byways. Here's what you need to know about the most scenic way to take a road trip -- Colorado's 26 scenic byways.
Trail Ridge Road is 48 miles long and is in the Rocky Mountain National Park. It takes about 2 hours and reaches 12,183 feet. It's known for its gorgeous vistas and is one of Colorado's 26 scenic byways as well as one of 11 of America's Byways in Colorado.
The Pawnee Pioneer Trails are in the Colorado Piedmont and is home to prairie dogs, rattlesnakes, pronghorn antelope and lots of birds. This scenic byway is 128 miles and takes 3 hours.
The South Platte River Trail takes 30 minutes because it's 19 miles long. It's the shortest scenic byway and was used by thousands of pioneers headed West. The South Platte River Trail is also home of Colorado's only Pony Express home station.
The Grand Mesa is one of Colorado's scenic byways and is also one of American's Byways. It's 63 miles long and takes two hours. The Grand Mesa takes you from the canyon of Plateau Creek to over 11,000 feet high in the forest.
Top of the Rockies is 82 miles long and takes two hours. Two of Colorado's biggest and baddest 14ers are on this scenic byway -- Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. Top of the Rockies takes you through mining towns and is one of America's Byways.
Another one of Colorado's scenic byways and America's Byways is Dinosaur Diamond. Dinosaur Diamond has some of the most significant dinosaur fossils around, with lots of national parks and monuments along the way.
Flat Tops Trail is 82 miles long and takes two hours. This scenic byway takes you past mines, ranches, and timber-producing woodlands.
Guanella Pass in the Rocky Mountains is 22 miles long and takes one hour. There's Victorian towns, George town, and Silver Plume and lots of distinct environments along the way.
It's the pride and joy of the Front Range, it's the Peak to Peak scenic byway. Peak to Peak is 55 miles long and ghost towns, parks, and the Continental Divide. Peak to Peak is the oldest scenic byway in Colorado.
Lariat Loop takes two hours and is 40 miles long. It's one of 11 of American's Byways in Colorado and has canyons, meadows, and lots of history to behold.
Cache la Poudre is 101 miles long and takes three hours. It connects Fort Collins with North Park, and there's plenty of moose, elk, and antelope at North Park. Cache la Poudre has the only federally designated National Wild and Scenic River.
Mountain Evans is 49 miles long and takes two hours. Prepare to climb 7,000 feet all the way up to 14,130 feet. The Mount Evans scenic byway has bighorn sheep, wildflowers and gets you Rocky Mountain High.
Highway of Legends is 82 miles long and takes two hours. This scenic byway's views of the Devil's Stairsteps, Spanish Peaks and the Dakota wall have inspired many tales for hundreds of years.
This historic trade route the Santa Fe Trail scenic byway. Bent's Old Fort is the midpoint, which is a National Historic site, and used to be a trading post. The Santa Fe Trail is one of 11 of America's Byways in Colorado.
The Tracks Across Borders byway is 125 miles long and takes 4 hours and 30 minutes. This scenic byway passes through the Southern Ute Indian Tribe reservation land, Chimney Rock National Monument and has the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.
Trail of the Ancients is 116 miles long and take three hours. There are cliff dwellings, rock art, Mesa Verde National Park and Hovenweep National Monument and is one of 11 of America's Byways in Colorado.
The Unaweep Tabeguache scenic byway has tons of history and tons of geology. There's Driggs Mansion, the Hanging Flume, and Unaweep Canyon. This scenic byway is 133 miles long and takes three hours.
West Elk Loop is 205 miles long and takes 6-8 hours. There's Mount Sopris on one side and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison on the other with Carbondale, Crested Butte, and Gunnison in between.
The San Juan Skyway is one of Colorado's scenic byways and one of 11 of American's Byways in Colorado. The 'Million Dollar Highway' is a part of this byway, which goes from Ouray to Silverton. The San Juan Skyway is also home to Durango and Telluride.
The Alpine Loop is 63 miles long and takes 4-6 hours. This scenic byway takes you into the heart of the San Juan Mountains on roads that were first used by 19th-century miners.
Frontier Pathways is 103 miles long and takes 3.5 hours. This scenic byway was the intersection of Native American, Spanish, French and American territories. Frontier Pathway is one of 11 of America's Byways here in Colorado.
There's North Clear Creek Falls, the Uncompahgre Peak, and lots of old mining camps on this scenic byway. Silver Thread is 117 miles long and takes three hours.
Gold Belt Tour takes five hours and is 131 miles long. Gold Belt Tour goes through Cripple Creek, Florence and other gold camps. There are two fossil areas and breathtaking Pikes Peak on this scenic byway.
Los Caminos Antiguos takes you through the San Juan foothill to the Great Sand Dunes. These are the largest sand dunes in the nation. Los Caminos Antiguos also has one of the first military posts -- Fort Garland.
Collegiate Peaks is 57 miles long and takes 90 minutes. There are mining towns, Salida, the Arkansas River and the Continental Divide on this scenic byway.